NGEE Arctic Mid-Phase Review: Phase 3 (2019–2024)


The NGEE Arctic team recently presented our Phase 3 progress and plans to the US Department of Energy’s Biological and Environmental Research program managers.


The NGEE Arctic team came together in a virtual meeting on March 9 to present an overview of our accomplishments thus far during Phase 3 to our program managers and sponsors within the US Department of Energy’s Biological and Environmental Research program. Four speakers synthesized our Phase 3 science into four overarching science themes. Within each theme, we also highlighted rising leaders discussing their own research in a short video. Katrina Bennett, with help from rising leader Ryan Crumley, discussed how our scientific discoveries within the theme of landscape heterogeneity have led to an improved understanding of snow distribution across the landscape, permafrost thaw, and the fluxes of carbon and water. Benjamin Sulman, with help from rising leader Erin Berns, discussed how biogeochemistry and plant–soil interactions help predict ecosystem CO2 and CH4 fluxes and their response to warming at scales from laboratory incubation to the footprint of an eddy flux tower. Margaret Torn, with help from rising leader Yanlan Liu, discussed how incorporating NGEE Arctic observations of tundra plant traits has improved the understanding and model prediction of carbon cycling under current conditions, while ecosystem processes such as seedling recruitment and response to disturbances such as fire are needed to predict future vegetation distributions. Peter Thornton, with help from rising leader Chuck Abolt, discussed how these scientific discoveries inform integrated model modules on inundation dynamics; hillslope hydrology; interactions among snow, vegetation, and terrain; representation of tundra vegetation; vegetation dynamics; and soil biogeochemical cycling. These processes are being simulated in models at the fine, intermediate, and earth system scale. We thank the NGEE team members for their scientific accomplishments thus far during Phase 3 and for the collaborations and collegiality that make NGEE Arctic special. We also give a special thank you to the Sitnasuak, Mary’s Igloo, Council, Bering Strait, and UIC native corporations that have allowed us to conduct our science on the beautiful land of their communities. 

Image with caption

(a) The NGEE Arctic team is organized around six science questions (Q1–Q6) that span from microbes to the landscape. (b) The discovery science informs the development of six integrated model modules (IM1-IM6) that span model scales and processes from inundation to vegetation dynamics.